Obituaries » Douglas H. Thompson
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November 27, 1946 - January 13, 2017
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Douglas H. “Doug” Thompson, son and first born of Elizabeth and Donald Thompson on Nov. 27, 1946 in Muskegon, MI, passed away in his home in Kalamazoo, MI on January 13, 2017. Doug attended Muskegon Public Schools and Muskegon Community College before transferring to WMU in 1966, where he majored in Psychology and Sociology. Upon moving back to Kalamazoo with his young family in 1967, he acquired a package deal from other Muskegon students, the rental of an apartment as well as a part time job at Youth Opportunities Unlimited. With that job, his long career with KRESA (KVISD) began. He ended his 32 year career with KRESA in December, 2000. After deciding he was not yet ready to retire completely, Doug worked as Disaster Director for the American Red Cross, then for our state representative at the 60th District Service Office, and finally as Director of Development for Residential Opportunities Incorporated. During these jobs, Doug practiced his lifelong values of acceptance of persons with disabilities, of differing backgrounds and values, as well as assisting those of limited resources. Doug spent a good deal of his personal time volunteering for the betterment of our community. He was active in city government, serving on numerous committees. He also sat on various boards, including ROI, Hope Network, American Red Cross, and Volunteer Center. Doug was honored by the State of Michigan for his volunteerism by Governor John Engler in March of 1994. With all these activities, Doug befriended a wide variety of citizens, many of whom became close friends who also mourn his untimely passing. Doug’s passions were varied. He loved birds, especially raptors. He visited numerous lighthouses in and around the Great Lakes, and for several years, he and Penny served at the Cheboygan Range Light, assisting guests and helping to rehab the facility. His family shared his love of the big freighters plying the Great Lakes. Doug could identify most on sight and knew their statistics and ports of call. He also had a wonderful singing voice, a deep knowledge and eclectic taste in music. Doug is survived by his wife, Penny, with whom he celebrated 50 years of marriage in September 2016; as well as daughter, Melissa Linkfield, her husband Mike, and their children Sarah, Ryan and Emma Linkfield. Doug was sadly preceded in death by son, Christopher Sean Thompson in June 2016. Chris’s children Rachel and Nicklas Thompson also survive their “Bumpa”, a term of endearment first spoken by Rachel when she was a tot. Doug’s two sisters, Jennifer (Bob) Zerlaut of SC and Dianna (Scott) Ogborn of NM survive; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews in various parts of the country. Doug was also preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and many aunts and uncles, as well as several cousins.